Traffic is frustrating taxi drivers — and travellers — at the Montreal airport this summer.
The wait has gotten so bad that taxi drivers say it has become a daily occurrence to see travellers hopping out of their vehicles, hauling their luggage the last few hundred metres — or more — to the airport, rather than waiting it out in line.
"Traffic is terrible here," said Hamid Reza Agzchi, a cabbie who finds himself waiting in endless lines at the airport.
It begins every day at rush hour, Agzchi said on Wednesday, although a spokesperson for the airport said things were worse between Wednesday and Sunday.
The traffic, which Transports Québec says has nothing to do with it or with any major construction the provincial Transport Ministry is working on, begins at the Dorval Circle — or east of it if drivers are trying to come to the airport via Highway 20 or Highway 520, which tend to be jammed during rush hours — and extends all the way to the departures and arrivals terminals.
"I see so many customers, they stop and walk," Agzchi said.
Agzchi and his colleagues say the traffic is costing them time and money.
"It takes an hour to get in," said taxi driver Malek Louzoni. "We lose a lot of time."
Ripon Patwery, another taxi driver, said the situation is "completely out of control."
Ripon Patwery, a Montreal taxi driver, said things are getting out of control at the Montreal airport. (CBC)
"It's very bad now if you're going to the airport," he said. "Everywhere is traffic, (Highway) 520, (Highway) 20, Dorval Circle, Cardinal (Avenue), everywhere. Some people are coming by walking to the airport now.
"We're wasting time, we're wasting our money because it's more time. Everyone is stuck in traffic."
The airport, in a statement, said the traffic was caused by "soaring passenger traffic as well as roadwork that may take place in the surrounding area."
A spokesperson for Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), the corporation that operates Trudeau International Airport, said they are aware of the increased traffic leading to the airport.
The airport has increased the number of patrol officers on the ramp to help move traffic, which it says is mostly composed of people dropping off travellers or coming to pick up people whose plane has landed.
ADM suggests people use one of the three CellParc parking lots where "meeters and greeters" can go wait for passengers free of charge for up to two hours. "We invite people to use them to avoid blocking the drop-off area," the airport said in a statement.
"We are evaluating other mitigation measures to reduce congestion until we can complete the redevelopment of the drop-off area," the ADM statement said.
In late May, construction on Highway 20 slowed traffic to a crawl and dozens of people, including a group of Sherbrooke, Que., students who were supposed to head to Greece, missed their flights.
Hundreds of people missed flights out of Montreal's Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport after being stuck in traffic jams in western Montreal caused by construction on Highway 20 in May 2023. (Hadi Hassin/Radio-Canada)
The traffic has drawn criticism and attention on social media.
Georges Saint-Pierre, the famous mixed martial artist, posted a short clip of the traffic on X, formerly known as Twitter, using an expletive to refer to the airport for his two million followers.